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Jorge Masvidal vs. Kamaru Usman Set for UFC 251 Pending COVID-19 Testing

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 16:  UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal interacts with the media during the UFC 246 Ultimate Media Day at UFC APEX on January 16, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Getty Images

Jorge Masvidal will face Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 on July 11 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, pending coronavirus testing.

UFC @ufc

OFFICIAL. 🏆 🤬 The BMF steps in on six days notice for #UFC251 @VisitAbuDhabi #InAbuDhabi https://t.co/eNq5CZMTTM

UFC President Dana White discussed the matchup on ESPN's SportsCenter Sunday night:

GILBERT BURNS DURINHO @GilbertDurinho

💔 devastating news, not feeling well but I’m going to win this battle! Stay safe out there! Much love 🙏🏾

Masvidal will also have to pass a coronavirus test before stepping in as a replacement against Usman.

Though Burns was the No. 1 contender in the division, Masvidal has been as good as anyone in the sport over the past year.

The 35-year-old earned a knockout win over Darren Till in March 2019 and then turned heads with a five-second knockout of Ben Askren. Last November, he defeated Nate Diaz by knockout to win the Baddest Motherf--ker belt.

He also has a history with Usman, including an altercation in January:

Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani

A reminder what happened the last time Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman crossed paths. (Circa January 2020) https://t.co/McbJurkBZc

It's part of the reason his manager, Abraham Kawa, said his fighter is "absolutely willing" to take on this fight despite limited time to prepare, per ESPN's Ariel Helwani.

Usman, 33, won the welterweight belt in March 2019 with a win over Tyron Woodley and then defended it in December with a knockout win over Colby Covington.

UFC 251 will also featured a featherweight title bout between Alex Volkanovski and Max Holloway along with a bantamweight fight between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo.

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